Monitoring the environment

Ash testing during the Hazelwood fire

Ash samples were taken from locations where ash accumulated following the mine fire, including both residential and industrial areas.

What did we find from our ash testing?

Our testing of the ash showrf that the organic and metal pollutants are those we expected based on our understanding of what was in the coal and the conditions of the fire.  The results are below the levels of concern in the relevant environmental standards.

Samples collected on 13 and 21 March 2014 showed that the ash is mostly coarse particles, with only three per cent of the ash being equal to or less than PM2.5 in size. The ash samples’ physical properties and their chemical composition and are not characterized as fly ash.

The Department of Health and Human Services advises that long-term health effects from the smoke and ash are unlikely as a result of the fire, however, a study will be undertaken to ensure that health effects, if any, are identified.

Is EPA still testing ash even if it is no longer falling?

EPA has kept some ash for future testing that may be required. If further analysis is needed, EPA will be able to use these samples.

Page last updated on 11 Aug 2016